Refinement Database

Database on Refinement of Housing, Husbandry, Care, and Use of Animals in Research

This database, created in 2000, is updated every three months with newly published scientific articles, books, and other publications related to improving or safeguarding the welfare of animals used in research.

Links to the full text for publications that appear in open access journals or are published on the AWI website are provided under the abstract.

Tips for using the database:

  • This landing page displays all of the publications in the database.
  • Use the drop-down menus to filter these publications by Animal Type and/or Topic.
  • Clicking on a parent category (e.g., Rodent) will include publications relating to all the items in that category (e.g., Chinchilla, Gerbil, Guinea pig, etc.).
  • You may also add a keyword to further narrow your search.
  • Please note that at this time, only publications dated 2010 or later (with some exceptions) can be filtered by Animal Type and Topic. Most publications older than 2010 can only be searched by keyword. 

In order to assess the level of sheep welfare in small traditional farms as compared with farms of increased size we evaluated several animal-based parameters and applied a modified Animal Needs Index (ANI) protocol in...

Animals are likely to appraise events as positive or negative based on their subjective perception, current state and past experiences. We tested the effects of anticipating positive (food anticipation), negative (inaccessible food) and neutral (clicker...

In this study, an appropriate visual scoring system for foot-pad dermatitis was validated, considering the histologically measured depth of the inflammation zone and the histopathological grade (no lesion, mild lesion, ulcer). The aim being to...

Dairy cattle are particularly susceptible to metritis, hyperketonemia (HYK), and mastitis in the weeks after calving. These high-prevalence transition diseases adversely affect animal welfare, milk production, and profitability. Our aim was to use prepartum behavior...

Mastitis in dairy cattle is extremely costly both in economic and welfare terms and is one of the most significant drivers of antimicrobial usage in dairy cattle. A critical step in the prevention of mastitis...

Outdoor and extensive farming systems allow animals to behave in a natural way and are often perceived as welfare friendly. Nonetheless, the natural environment poses multiple challenges to the welfare of animals, sometimes hampering their...

Pressure algometry can be used to quantify mechanical nociceptive threshold (MNT) in humans and animals. If reliable this may be a useful tool to examine calves for increased mechanical sensitivity, which may be induced by...

As the reliance upon automated systems in the livestock industry increases, technologies need to be developed which can be incorporated into these systems to monitor animal health and welfare. Infrared thermography (IRT) is one such...

Accelerometer-based mobility scoring has focused on cow behaviors such as lying and walking. Accuracy levels as high as 91% have been previously reported. However, there has been limited replication of results. Here, measures previously identified...

Eye temperature measured using infrared thermography (IRT) can be used as a non-invasive measure of autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity in cattle. The objective of this study was to evaluate if changes in eye temperature...

Requirements for animal and dairy products are increasing gradually in emerging economic bodies. However, it is critical and challenging to maintain the health and welfare of the increasing population of dairy cattle, especially the dairy...

The purpose of this study was to quantitatively assess gait characteristics and weight-bearing forces during ambulation in goats free of lameness using a pressure-sensing walkway as a biometric tool for stride, gait, and force analysis...

Body condition scoring (BCS) is the management practice of assessing body reserves of individual animals by visual or tactile estimation of subcutaneous fat and muscle. Both high and low BCS can negatively impact milk production...

Assessing emotional states of dairy calves is an essential part of welfare assessment, but standardized protocols are absent. The present study aims at assessing the emotional states of dairy calves and establishing a reliable standard...

Precision livestock farming has emerged with the aim of providing detailed information to detect and reduce problems related to animal management. This study aimed to develop and validate computer vision techniques to track required features...

Qualitative behavioural assessments (QBA) is an animal-based welfare measure that has been included in several on-farm welfare assessment protocols, including the Welfare Quality® (WQ) protocol for poultry. However, there is a scarcity of information about...

This second edition is fully revised, expanded, and comprehensively updated with the most current knowledge about the full array of mental health issues seen in animals. Written by key opinion leaders, internationally-recognized experts and specialists...

India, the country with the largest population of dairy cows in the world, has a policy of retiring abandoned and non-lactating cows in shelters, but the level of provision for their welfare in these shelters...

Background: Lameness is a major health, welfare and production-limiting condition for the livestock industries. The current ‘gold-standard’ method of assessing lameness by visual locomotion scoring is subjective and time consuming, whereas recent technological advancements have...

Understanding the emotions of dairy cows is primarily important in enhancing the level of welfare and provide a better life on farm. This study explored whether eye white and ear posture can reliably contribute to...

The use of technology to optimize the production and management of each individual animal is becoming key to good farming. There is a need for the real-time systematic detection and control of disease in animals...

This systematic review explores the use of on-animal sensors in sheep and their potential application in objective welfare monitoring. The key questions posed were: To what extent can current scientific knowledge inform a sensor-based approach...

Detection of slightly lame cows and non-lame cows with limb pathologies and those with early limb pathologies is most challenging. Therefore, the availability of a sensitive, objective tool to complement the clinical limb examination is...

Feather damage (FD) due to feather pecking behavior is an ongoing welfare concern among commercial egg-laying hens. Canada's current transition from conventional cage housing to alternative housing systems, where FD can spread easily within large...

The assessment of hoof conformation is important due to its recognized relationship with the biomechanical functionality of the hoof. Hoof conformation can be assessed using objective measures or subjective scores. However, to date, there are...

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